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Coronavirus Impact and Assurance: Yes! We are still open for business!

For the last year, thanks to the hard work of all of our staff, and you, our clients, no one who works at this office has gotten Covid while working here, and we have not spread a single case to any of our clients, while getting all of our client's legal needs taken care of. With the spread of vaccination the end is in sight, normal times where we can meet our clients in person in the office are just around the corner.

During the transition we will be having some in person, in office appointments for clients who have already been vaccinated, and for whom the CDC recommended period of time has passed since their last shot. Of course, for anyone who would prefer a phone or video appointment for safety, convenience, or any other reason those types of appointments are always available.

For our clients who have not yet completed the vaccination cycle phone and video appointments are of course available, and, with the return of warm weather we will again be offering outside appointments under the tent right outside our front door. For all appointments, masks will continue to be required.

Through the transition safety of all staff and clients will continue to be our top priority, we look forward to seeing you soon.

Please see our blog for more info on pandemic response.

Guardian ad litem: Weak link in family law cases?

| Oct 13, 2016 | Custody, Family Law, Parents Rights

I have written before about the serious problems with the guardian ad litem program in this area. For those of you who have not worked with a guardian, their job, in a nutshell is to investigate child custody or visitation dispute and make a recommendation to the court about where a child should live, and how often they should see their parents.

The City Pages, a newspaper out of the twin cities ran a story about the need for major reforms to the Guardian ad Litem program, focusing on the metro area. Unfortunately, most of the problems identified in the story exist here to. Guardians are inadequately trained, they are only required to complete a 40 hour program, they are rarely held accountable, there is no independent authority where complaints can be made, and judges usually follow the recommendation of the guardian.

No one wants to make custody decisions in contested cases, it is easy for the court system to defer the decision making to guardians in most cases. The problem is that guardians, despite having good intentions in most cases, are frankly not qualified to make many of the recommendations that they make. The court system needs to either make significant improvements to the guardian program to make it able to do the job it is given, or stop relying on it. Entrusting the most important job in the legal system to people who are often not qualified to do it as we are doing now is the worst case scenario.

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